Jan 20, 2018 | Updated: 09:54 AM EDT

Moderate Alcohol Drinkers Might Have Higher Risk Of Losing Memory And Thinking Skills, Study Says

Jun 08, 2017 02:59 PM EDT

Moderate alcohol drinkers were discovered by a study to have a higher risk of brain function decline upon aging. The team then noted that their findings support the U.K. World Health Assembly guidelines, which states that people are not to drink regularly more than 14 units per week in order to keep the brain healthy and avoid risks associated with alcohol.

According to Medical News Today, the University of Oxford and University College London discovered that moderate drinking has a risk of a faster decrease in brain health, which includes memory and thinking. The team then assessed a 30-year-records which were collected between the year 1985 and 2015.

The studied data included 550 British men and women adults which have an average age of 43. The participants were identified to report their health and lifestyle habits every five years. They were also mentioned to take standard tests of memory and other mental skills every report. The British adults were then set to undergo MRI brain scans as noted in the data collected.

Afterward, it was then discovered that atrophy or tissue degeneration in a brain region called the hippocampus is more eminent in regular drinkers that take more than 30 units per week compared to those who were occasional drinkers or abstainers. Atrophy in the brain was described to be an early sign of Alzheimer's disease.

"Our findings support the recent reduction in U.K. safe limits and call into question the current U.S. guidelines, which suggest that up to 24.5 units a week is safe for men, as we found increased odds of hippocampal atrophy at just 14-21 units a week, and we found no support for a protective effect of light consumption on brain structure," as the authors had written in their study per Web MD.

However, moderate drinkers which were said to take 14 to 21 units per week were revealed to have three times higher risk of hippocampal atrophy within the 30 year study period. A greater deterioration in the brain white matters was also identified to be associated with higher alcohol consumption.

Nonetheless, language fluency among those with decreased white matter in the brain was also said to decrease as well. Aside from that, a clinical lecturer in psychiatry at Oxford University and lead author of the study, Dr. Anya Topiwala also concluded that the study didn’t found any evidence of the drinkers developing dementia.

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